If you are reluctant to go straight for those happy pills, how should you go about a natural course of treatment for depression? The best way according to many experts is to exercise. It may be hard to shake that not-wanting-to-do-anything mood, but the more you do, the more it will slip away, leaving you a better model of yourself and ready to go forward with a new self-confidence.
Exercise and the new you
depression Take These Steps to Work Your Way Out Of Depression Naturally
Exercising is commonly prescribed by doctors as effective treatment for a wide range of health problems typically coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Mounting research has been conducted at clinics across the world to find out whether regular physical activity would also benefit patients suffering from depression.
Research results demonstrate a mixed picture at this stage. Some are more enthusiastic than others about the positive link between participating in exercise programs and alleviation of depression symptoms, especially for elderly, postnatal depression as well as those who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Depression).
The most optimistic view is that exercise may be the most effective way of reducing depression in patients. It is certainly safe to say that a combination of exercise with antidepressant medication or psychological therapies will be more effective than single treatment alone. For mild and moderate cases, exercise is increasingly recommended as the first treatment of depression at its earliest stage. Given the potential unwanted side-effects of antidepressant medication and the limited availability of psychological therapies, exercise as an alternative deserves more attention than it has so far achieved.
Exercise as prevention
Remember: Research shows that being physically active may help to prevent depression from occurring in the first place.
Exercise as treatment
Exercise works as a treatment in four ways:
- by providing distraction from your anxieties and concerns
- reducing your stress and tension
- improving body and health
- enhancing your self-esteem and sense of purpose
The positive effects of exercise on a case of depression include increasing the amount of hormones (endorphins) in your bodies that help you feel happier, improving your appearance and subsequently your self-esteem, constituting focus and purpose in your life, improving the quality of your sleep and creating an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
Steps to recovery from depression
Step 1. Assess your health situation and chose exercises that are suitable for your fitness level and exercise background. Ask recommendations from your doctor to form a safe and healthy exercise program for yourself.
Step 2. Set up realistic goals when making your exercise plans, starting from where you feel comfortable with, increasing your dose of exercise gradually.
Step 3. Follow your plan and be persistent even if your mood makes you easily give things up.
Step 4. Evaluate your mood constantly, adjusting your plan until you find one that suits you best.
Right type of exercise against depression
There is no one most effective form of exercise that can guarantee a reduction in depression. Almost any type of exercise may be able to help reduce certain symptoms to various extents. Many find walking, jogging, or swimming appealing, others may prefer yoga or taiji.
Chose programs that you enjoy and best suit your life routine. Joining a gym or participating in a team sport or competition may add extra value, and may offer you an opportunity to meet new friends and build closer relationships, both conducive to the healing of depression.
People undergoing physical treatment should seek advice with their health advice about any exercise program undertaken before starting out. Your medical practitioner is bound to support your initiative!